Forgotten Opera Singers
Jun 22, 2020
She came from Trecastle (South Wales). Her real name was Sara Davies [ Davies is a very common family name in Wales. ]
From the BBC Archives: She was the soprano at the Weds 25 Sep 1912 Queen's Hall "Proms"
[ I've copied details of the programme below ]
From newspaper archives:
London Standard (Newspaper) – Weds July 8, 1914,
SARA MELITA, RINALDO , DELPHI THEATRE
Advert in “The Stars and Stripes”, France Friday July 5th, 1918
for the London Coliseum (described as "Europe's Principal Variety Theatre" )
"Present attractions include.. " (amongst others) ".. Sara Melita.. "
A review dated July 28th, 1923 relating to the "Welsh concert at Queen's Hall, London, on Wednesday evening" reports:
"Miss Sara Melita has clearly under-gone a long and careful training ; she showed an astonishing mastery of technique, especially in the difficult aria of Verdi's, " Ah ! Fors e lui," .
[Other artistes were Miss Elsie Owen (violin), Walter Glynne (tenor) ]
Kindest Regards Trevor (Davies. Almost certainly no relation to Sara )
1912 Programme & Artistes
[ Conductor, Henry Wood; Robert Burnett, base-baritone; The New Queen’s Hall Orchestra]
Felix Mendelssohn: Overture 'The Hebrides' ('Fingal's Cave')
Edward Elgar: The Light of Life, Op 29
Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata - 'È strano! è strano!'
Claude Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Suite, Op 71a
Benjamin Dale: Concertstück (premiere)
Charles‐François Gounod: Le Vallon (arr. Henry Wood)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No 39 in E flat major, K543
Frederic Hymen Cowen: 4 English Dances in the Olden Style Set 1
Sir Henry Rowley Bishop: The Comedy of Errors: "Lo! Here the Gentle Lark"
Sir Arthur Somervell: Maud. No. 4 O let the solid ground (Proms premiere)
Maud. No. 5 Birds in the high hall garden (Proms premiere)
Richard Wagner: Lohengrin. No. 17 Prelude Act 3
I wish to thank Trevor Davies for providing me information
Dan Beddoe (Dan Theophilus Beddoe) (Tenor) (Aberdare, Wales, UK March 16th 1863 - New York, USA December 1937)
He won a gold medal in a singing competition in Wales (1882). He emigrated to North America and studied singing first in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, then in New York. After an unsuccessful concert tour in England, he sang in New York churches. In 1903 he made his official debut as an oratorio singer. In 1904 Walter Damrosch selected him for a concert performance of ‘’Parsifal’’. In 1910 he was celebrated at the Cincinnati Festival, where he also achieved great success in 1914, 1920, 1925 and 1927. In 1925 he sang the tenor solo in Mendelssohn's ‘’Elias’’ with great success in New York. From 1925 to 1929 and still in 1934 (71 years old) he was admired in New York at performances of the Messiah by Handel. In 1911 he came to England and sang at the London Crystal Palace at the celebrations for the coronation of George V in Handel's ‘’Messiah’’ and Mendelssohn's ‘’Elias’’. He was considered one of the most important oratorio singers of his era. Enrico Caruso attended his concerts in New York because he admired his incomparable messa-di-voce technique. He didn't appear on stage.